Glaciological parameters of disruptive event analysis

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The possibility of complete glaciation of the earth is small and probably need not be considered in the consequence analysis by the Assessment of Effectiveness of Geologic Isolation Systems (AEGIS) Program. However, within a few thousand years an ice sheet may well cover proposed waste disposal sites in Michigan. Those in the Gulf Coast region and New Mexico are unlikely to be ice covered. The probability of ice cover at Hanford in the next million years is finite, perhaps about 0.5. Sea level will fluctuate as a result of climatic changes. As ice sheets grow, sea level will fall. Melting ... continued below

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Pages: 55

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Bull, C. April 1, 1980.

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Description

The possibility of complete glaciation of the earth is small and probably need not be considered in the consequence analysis by the Assessment of Effectiveness of Geologic Isolation Systems (AEGIS) Program. However, within a few thousand years an ice sheet may well cover proposed waste disposal sites in Michigan. Those in the Gulf Coast region and New Mexico are unlikely to be ice covered. The probability of ice cover at Hanford in the next million years is finite, perhaps about 0.5. Sea level will fluctuate as a result of climatic changes. As ice sheets grow, sea level will fall. Melting of ice sheets will be accompanied by a rise in sea level. Within the present interglacial period there is a definite chance that the West Antarctic ice sheet will melt. Ice sheets are agents of erosion, and some estimates of the amount of material they erode have been made. As an average over the area glaciated by late Quaternary ice sheets, only a few tens of meters of erosion is indicated. There were perhaps 3 meters of erosion per glaciation cycle. Under glacial conditions the surface boundary conditions for ground water recharge will be appreciably changed. In future glaciations melt-water rivers generally will follow pre-existing river courses. Some salt dome sites in the Gulf Coast region could be susceptible to changes in the course of the Mississippi River. The New Mexico site, which is on a high plateau, seems to be immune from this type of problem. The Hanford Site is only a few miles from the Columbia River, and in the future, lateral erosion by the Columbia River could cause changes in its course. A prudent assumption in the AEGIS study is that the present interglacial will continue for only a limited period and that subsequently an ice sheet will form over North America. Other factors being equal, it seems unwise to site a nuclear waste repository (even at great depth) in an area likely to be glaciated.

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Pages: 55

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Dep. NTIS, PC A04/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: PNL-2863
  • Grant Number: EY-76-C-06-1830
  • DOI: 10.2172/5492772 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5492772
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1093704

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Creation Date

  • April 1, 1980

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 10, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • March 30, 2018, 12:22 p.m.

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Bull, C. Glaciological parameters of disruptive event analysis, report, April 1, 1980; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1093704/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.